Jai Nitai Lotus-Something You Feel [Album Review]

Jai Nitai Lotus was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. Lotus was brought up in a musical house with a father that played multiple instruments and was in a rock/fusion band. These early influences are apparent on his LP, Something You Feel. As soon as the album came on, it made sense that two of the albums that sparked his interest in hip-hop were Nas’ Illmatic and Slum Village’s Fantastic Vol. 2. Something You Feel is full of basic beats that play up the bass in an Illmatic style.

In the opening song, ‘Mingus Clap,’ the combination of claps and the marching tempo create the basis for an epic beat. These themes of power and strength continue throughout the whole album, like in Bailout, which sounds like it could be the theme music to a James Bond film. To contrast the bass in the songs there are flutes, cellos, pianos, violins, and other miscellaneous instruments that create a whimsical feel. Each of the different instruments also manage to take the listener through a different era. In ‘Hard Times & Blessed’ the flute melody fashions a 1930s Jazz vibe, but in ‘Get Gone (Feat. Karma Atchykan),’ it appears the era has jumped into the future with sounds that resemble hovercrafts. There are songs that have the groovy sense of the seventies, and others with the swanky style of the fifties, yet he of course combines these sentiments with a modern style that forms a unique beat for each song. Another way Lotus appears to tone down his rugged beats are through his samples and features. The Joss Stone like voice of Sarah Linhares adds a soulful Jazz element that softens the rough edges. Her melodies add a new depth, as most female vocalists do, but her raspy, and almost deep whisper amplify the meaning behind the chorus.  In accordance with the James Bond style beat on ‘Bailout,’ it seems only fitting that Lotus talks about the lavish life of other rappers.

…Clouds in the rooms and sins in her womb…star studded platinum chain, cross around they neck they love it and hug it. Me… no diamonds on my playlist.

Alluding to a more basic lifestyle, he offers a contrast to his peers who
would rather hustle and spend racks, while there’s still poverty. This Robin Hood point of view was also taken in Lupe Fiasco’s: Food & Liquor II, and is what the rap industry needs. This new popular theme is also seen later on the album when Lotus speaks on the lagging economy.

-Jeneba

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